Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS)
OLMS Interpretative Manual
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PURPOSES OF THE ACT
020.001 LMRDA, SECTION 2
Sec. 2. (a) The Congress finds that, in the public interest, it continues to be the responsibility of the Federal Government to protect employees' rights to organize, choose their own representatives, bargain collectively, and otherwise engage in concerted activities for their mutual aid or protection; that the relations between employers and labor organizations and the millions of workers they represent have a substantial impact on the commerce of the Nation; and that in order to accomplish the objective of a free flow of commerce it is essential that labor organizations, employers, and their officials adhere to the highest standards of responsibility and ethical conduct in administering the affairs of their organizations, particularly as they affect labor-management relations.
(b) The Congress further finds, from recent investigations in the labor and management fields, that there have been a number of instances of breach of trust, corruption, disregard of the rights of individual employees, and other failures to observe high standards of responsibility and ethical conduct which require further and supplementary legislation that will afford necessary protection of the rights and interests of employees and the public generally as they relate to the activities of labor organizations, employers, labor relations consultants, and their officers and representatives.
(c) The Congress, therefore, further finds and declares that the enactment of this Act is necessary to eliminate or prevent improper practices on the part of labor organizations, employees, labor relations consultants, and their officers and representatives which distort and defeat the policies of the Labor Management Relations Act, 1947, as amended, and the Railway Labor Act, as amended, and have the tendency or necessary effect of burdening or obstructing commerce by (1) impairing the efficiency, safety, or operation of the instrumentalities of commerce; (2) occurring in the current of commerce; (3) materially affecting, restraining, or controlling the flow of raw materials or manufactured or processed goods into or from the channels of commerce, or the prices of such materials or goods in commerce; or (4) causing diminution of employment and wages in such volume as substantially to impair or disrupt the market for goods flowing into or from the channels of commerce.
020.005 CONGRESSIONAL INTENT
The purposes of the Act are, among other things, to provide for the reporting and disclosure of certain financial transactions and administrative practices of labor organizations, employers, and labor relations consultants; to prevent abuses in these areas and in the administration of trusteeships by labor organizations; and to provide standards and procedures with respect to the election and removal of officers of labor organizations.
The terms used in the Act are, generally speaking, defined broadly so as to provide the maximum coverage, although unions composed exclusively of public sector employees are not within the scope of the definitions.
NOTE: Most labor organizations which represent employees of the U.S. Postal Service are covered by the LMRDA pursuant to the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970, at 39 U.S.C. 1209. Most federal sector labor organizations in the executive branch are covered under the similar requirements of the standards of conduct provisions of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, 5 U.S.C. 7120(a) - (d), and the Foreign Service Act of 1980, 22 U.S.C. 4117(a) - (d). Labor organizations in the legislative branch that are covered by the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 are also subject to the standards of conduct requirements. The regulations implementing the standards of conduct are contained in 29 CFR Parts 457 - 459.
(Revised: Dec. 2016)
020.100 EFFECT ON RAILWAY LABOR ACT
Administrative responsibility for enforcement of the Railway Labor Act is not vested in the Department of Labor. Nothing in the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act has altered the procedures to be followed in processing grievances under the Railway Labor Act. Congress in its declaration of findings, purposes and policy has declared, in section 2(c) of the LMRDA, in favor of a policy of eliminating or preventing improper practices which distort and defeat the policies of certain federal labor laws, including the Railway Labor Act. However, the LMRDA does not affect the bargaining or employment relationships between carriers and employees in the railroad industry. Consequently, the Secretary does not have authority under section 2(c) of the Act to intervene in matters relating to the Railway Labor Act.
Last Updated: 1-5-17